Charles Leclerc: “My focus is on making improvements going forward”

Charles Leclerc will start his first Grand Prix from eighteenth on the grid
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charles Leclerc enjoyed his first Qualifying session as a Formula 1 driver on Saturday, even if the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team race was forced to settle for eighteenth on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

The 2017 FIA Formula 2 champion was less than a tenth of a second down on team-mate Marcus Ericsson around the Albert Park circuit, but he feels he could have jumped the Swede and advance into the second phase of Qualifying but for a mistake at turn four, but ultimately it was a big learning day for the Monegasque racer.

Leclerc now turns his attention to his first race start on Sunday, and in making the Sauber car and team a much more competitive outfit throughout the season.

“I had my first qualifying in Formula 1 today – so overall, it was an exciting day,” said Leclerc. “We had a wet free practice session followed by a dry qualifying, which was not ideal as I could not practice for what lay ahead.

“In qualifying, I made a small error in turn 4 which cost us Q2 – a shame, but it is the first round of the season, so it was still a positive learning experience. Now, my focus is on making improvements going forward.

“Tomorrow, I will take part in my first Formula 1 race. I look forward to it very much.”